Fantasy News Home

Browns plan to look at RB rotation plan

Monday, October 20, 2014, 9:16pm

News Herald - [Full Article]

Too much of a good thing really might be too much when it comes to the Browns’ crowded stable at running back.

The Browns have played six games, but the one played Oct. 19 in Jacksonville was only the second in which Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West were all available for all four quarters. The game played in Tennessee was the other.

It wasn’t an issue in Nashville, where Tate carried 23 times for 123 yards, West seven times for 31 yards and Crowell six times for 19 yards because the Browns stormed back from being down, 28-3, to win, 29-28, and go into the NFL record books for the greatest come-from-behind road victory in the history of the NFL. In Jacksonville, however, the three amigos combined for 28 carries and 62 yards during an ego-bruising, 24-6 defeat, so now the theory is featuring three backs instead of two doesn’t allow any of them to get into a groove.

“We’ll have discussions this week how to best rotate those guys,” Coach Mike Pettine said in his day-after news conference. “It’s a good problem to have, but you’re still dealing with the word ‘problem’ so it’s something we have to plan for.”

Fantasy Impact:

No back was in the game for more than two consecutive series in Jacksonville, the story said. The backs also talked about how it's difficult to get into a rhythm when there are three backs in the rotation and earlier this year Tate said he preferred a two-back rotation. It sounds like the Browns are going to take a look at their rotation.

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Monday, October 20, 2014, 7:15pm

Steelers Inactives
Justin Brown WR
Christopher Hubbard G
Landry Jones QB
Steve McLendon NT
Ryan Shazier ILB
Ike Taylor CB
Shamarko Thomas SS

Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins ACTIVE for MNF

Monday, October 20, 2014, 7:14pm

Texans Inactives
Jeff Adams T
Josh Aubrey DB
Jadeveon Clowney OLB
Darryl Morris DB
DeVier Posey WR
Jumal Rolle DB
Tom Savage QB

Fantasy Impact:

As expected, RB Arian Foster and WRs Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins are active for Monday night. It's a great matchup for Foster owners against Pittsburgh while we have Johnson as a low end WR2 and Hopkins a WR3 against a better Steeler passing defense.

Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:33pm - [Full Article]

New Jets WR Percy Harvin has already met with their offensive coaches. He planned to speak more with them Monday, after his first practice with the Jets, who on Friday traded a conditional draft pick to Seattle for him. By Wednesday, he expects to have a better feel for his role in Sunday’s home game against Buffalo, and beyond.

It is safe to say, though, that Harvin wants a somewhat different role than the one he occupied in Seattle’s offense. Harvin said Monday that the way Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell used him became a source of frustration.

“It definitely was,” Harvin said. “Not that I didn’t like what I was doing. I just wanted to do a little bit more as a receiver. I wanted to get downfield just a little bit more than what I was doing. That definitely caused frustration a little bit.”

Fantasy Impact:

Harvin, in five games this season, had 22 catches for 133 yards (6 yards per catch) and 11 rushes for 92 yards (8.4 yards per rush), with a long run of 51 yards. The Jets are in need of a playmaker like Harvin so it could be a good fit. A healthy WR Eric Decker (hamstring) on the other side will be a big help too. A big key, however, will be QB Geno Smith getting him the ball. At this point, owners can at least be optimistic Harvin could be getting the ball in his hands more than he did in Seattle.

Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:28pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Carolina Panthers could have running back DeAngelo Williams back on the practice field Wednesday, coach Ron Rivera said Monday.

Williams has missed the past three games with a high ankle sprain suffered in the first half of a Sept. 28 loss at Baltimore. The team’s all-time leading rusher hasn’t participated in practice since.

Williams walked through the locker room Monday with no visible signs of a limp, but there was tape on his right ankle.

Fantasy Impact:

Jonathan Stewart played in Week 7 in the loss to Green Bay so it's possible both backs could be active for Week 8, an early afternoon home game against the Seahawks. Stewart rushed 13 times for 50 yards while Newton added seven rushes. If Williams plays, the three would likely split carries.

Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:24pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

For the first time in over a month, Bucs HC Josh McCown practiced Monday. But coach Lovie Smith wasn’t about to say if the quarterback would step back into the starting job.

McCown suffered a sprained right thumb in the Week 3 loss to Atlanta and Mike Glennon has been starting since. There are no official injury reports on Mondays and Smith wasn’t about to break tradition.

“Wednesday I can talk a little bit more,’’ Smith said. “Monday is kind of an extra day. As we talked about (at the start of the season) on Monday practices I’m not going to talk about injuries. That part hasn’t changed. But Wednesday we’ll talk a little bit more.’’

Smith couldn’t have talked less about his quarterback situation. He gave a quick answer when asked how McCown looked.

“He was able to practice and get reps in today,’’ Smith said. “So he’s making progress.’’

Fantasy Impact:

The author said Glennon should be the starter in Week 8, but also added that nothing would be surprising.

Rashad Jennings on track heading into bye week

Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:08pm - [Full Article]

Giants RB Rashad Jennings sprained the MCL in his left knee two weeks ago against the Falcons. He's eyeing a return when the Giants take the field next on November 3 against the Colts.

"As the doctors said, they think I'm right on track to be back here soon and it's going to be a day to day [situation]," Jennings said.

The Giants leading rusher wouldn't commit to anything. He's taking it step by step. Next on the schedule is to hit the field during the bye week and begin running and cutting on the knee. He has not yet done anyone running outside the water.

"I'm going through my checkpoints. I want to see where it lays," said Jennings, who has 396 yards on 91 carries (4.4 ypc) in five games.

Fantasy Impact:

The Giants have struggled to run the ball in his absence and the team doesn't practice again until next Monday. That gives Jennings a week to see if he can make enough progress to be out there with his teammates for the light workout. As the story pointed out, coach Tom Coughlin hinted it's not going to be easy. Jennings has some serious strides to make here in the next week. The injury he suffered was significant. Looking ahead to Week 9, the Giants host the Colts on Monday night. It could be a tricky situation if Jennings ends up being a game-time call. For those who own both Jennings and Andre Williams, it may be a good idea to keep Williams for now, at least for a security blanket for Monday night Week 9.

Colt McCoy to start, but RGIII not ruled out

Monday, October 20, 2014, 5:59pm

Washington Post - [Full Article]

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Robert Griffin III returning for the upcoming Monday night game at Dallas, but went ahead and named third-string Colt McCoy as Washington’s starter.

“He still has a long way to go,” Gruden said of Griffin during Monday’s press conference. “I wouldn’t rule him out, but he has got a way to go to show that he can play, show that his ankle is 100 percent. That’s the big thing: He has got to be 100 percent ready to go. We don’t want to put him out there at 85 percent, have it be weak and have him do something to it. We want to make sure he’s ready to go when he’s out there.”

Griffin dislocated his left ankle in the first quarter of Washington’s Sept. 14 game against Jacksonville and has been sidelined since. Backup Kirk Cousins stepped in to win that game but lost the subsequent four and was on a downward trajectory Sunday against Tennessee, having turned the ball over twice, when Gruden benched him at halftime in favor of McCoy.

“Right now we’re going to move forward with Colt,” Gruden said. “I’d like to make the decision as soon as we can so we can get the reps. I’m a big rep guy. I want to make sure we get the starter ready to go, so we’re moving forward with the Cowboys with Colt, and Kirk is going to get the reps he gets and he’ll be ready to go if need be. But Colt will be the starter on Monday night.”

Fantasy Impact:

The team can't wait until Monday to name a starter just because of preparation, so McCoy gets the nod for now and will take the first team reps. It sounds like RGIII has a way to go and would likely need to get his reps in during the week in order to start on Monday, so that's something to keep an eye on. It's not a great situation, and to make matters worse it's a Monday night game at Dallas against their surprisingly good defense. RGIII is worth a pickup if you're in need of help at the position but probably shouldn't be saved to play on Monday night with too much up in the air at this point.

Reggie Wayne to get MRI on elbow

Monday, October 20, 2014, 5:47pm - [Full Article]

Colts HC Chuck Pagano offered these injury updates to lead off his Monday press conference:

Reggie Wayne is in the process of having an MRI, after finishing the game with an injured elbow on Sunday.

Fantasy Impact:

The story went on to say that Wayne missed a couple of plays on Sunday due to falling awkwardly on his elbow, but did return to action. It seems the MRI is precautionary but we'll be sure to keep you posted.

Browns sticking with Brian Hoyer at QB

Monday, October 20, 2014, 5:44pm

Chronicle-Telegram - [Full Article]

Rookie coach Mike Pettine isn’t hitting the panic button after an ugly 24-6 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday. That includes at the quarterback spot.

Brian Hoyer is still firmly our starter,” Pettine said.

Hoyer played his worst game with the Browns, falling to 6-3 as the starter. He was 16-for-41 for 215 yards, an interception, a lost fumble and a 46.3 rating.

Fantasy Impact:

One bad game normally isn’t enough to make a switch at quarterback, but rookie first-round pick Johnny Manziel is the backup so there is extra attention on the position. The story said that Pettine said he didn’t consider going to Manziel to try to jump-start the offense. Manziel hasn’t played since the pass to him against Baltimore in Week 3 was called back by penalty. He’s played four official snaps this season.

Calvin Johnson will make trip to London

Monday, October 20, 2014, 1:33pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The Lions have played without wide receiver Calvin Johnson for the last two weeks, but the door will remain open for his return in Week Eight even though the team will be playing a long way from home.

The team leaves for London on Monday night to begin their week of preparations for next Sunday’s game against the Falcons and coach Jim Caldwell told reporters, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, that Johnson will be making the trip with the team.

Fantasy Impact:

There have been suggestions that the team would hold the wide receiver out until after their Week 9 bye, but that clearly hasn’t been set in stone, the story said. Johnson worked out on the field before the team took on the Saints, but his high ankle sprain wasn’t well enough for him to return to action. It's a potential great matchup against the Falcons.

Patriots using more multiple TE formations

Monday, October 20, 2014, 12:50pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

As Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's playing time has increased upon his return from a torn right ACL, the Patriots have trended more toward multiple-tight-end groupings, which makes sense. Specifically, the Patriots seem to have found something that works for them -- going empty with the 2-WR/2-TE/1-RB grouping with Gronkowski and Tim Wright at tight end, which in a lot of ways could be viewed as a 3-WR package of sorts because of Wright's presence as more of a pass-catching tight end.

With a lower percentage of three-receiver packages, it has reduced the playing-time totals for pure slot receiver Danny Amendola. But as we saw Thursday, he's still contributing in that niche role (as well as a kickoff returner).

One could also draw the conclusion that inconsistent play along the offensive line has contributed to fewer three-receiver packages. By playing with a second or third tight end instead of a second or third receiver, the Patriots are devoting more resources to the line of scrimmage. Everything starts up front.

Fantasy Impact:

The story goes on to say that every offense needs something to hang its hat on and perhaps the Pats found it. Gronk's health has been key to this and multiple TE sets are allowing QB Tom Brady to takes shots down field while at the same time bolstering things up front. The Pats are used multiple TEs 57-percent of the time this season.

Andre Ellington played through rib injury

Monday, October 20, 2014, 12:20pm - [Full Article]

Cardinals RB Andre Ellington sustained a rib injury in the first half, which led coach Bruce Arians to believe his top runner was done for the day. To Arians' surprise, Ellington was ready to go when the second half was set to start.

Ellington put in a fine performance during Arizona's 21-13 win over Arizona, totaling 160 total yards — 88 rushing, 72 receiving. Ellington has been a high-volume producer in Arizona's offense and has showed a knack for being able to play through injuries. He's also dealt with a nagging foot injury throughout the season.

Fantasy Impact:

While it was nice for owners Ellington came back, and we can perhaps assume he will be okay for Week 8, it's at least a cause for concern as rib injuries are often a serious matter and take time to heal. This is definitely something owners need to pay attention to this week. There is some good news: Ellington 30 touches in Week 7's win could be something we see more of. Arians said a big reason Ellington hasn’t gotten as many touches as he did Sunday was because he hasn’t been able to practice much. He and quarterback Carson Palmer simply don’t have the confidence in certain plays because they have not been repped.

Jags could stick with Denard Robinson at RB

Monday, October 20, 2014, 12:03pm

Florida Times-Union - [Full Article]

Jags RB Denard Robinson worked hard in the offseason and gained about 15 pounds as he improved his skills.

Still, he was expected to be a backup, a change of pace runner. But Toby Gerhart is battling injuries and rookie Storm Johnson gained only 21 yards in 10 carries against Tennessee last week so the Jaguars gave Robinson a shot.

It helped that the Jaguars were never far behind Sunday so they could stick with the running game.

“We got to run it the whole game and that was fun," said offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.

So will Robinson remain the feature back? Coach Gus Bradley was somewhat vague when asked about it .

“Yeah, I think so. We’ll look at the film. He did a good job and we hope to get Toby back,’’ Bradley said.

Fantasy Impact:

As the story pointed out, it was really the first time the Jags were able to stick with the running game. Cleveland was just an average matchup but Robinson took advantage and Bradley's comments indicate he's got a chance to see a big role against Miami in Week 8. While he's worth a pickup if you're an owner hurting at the position, keep in mind this isn't a great situation. Storm Johnson remains a threat and the offense just isn't consistent enough for whoever the starting RB is to put up great fantasy numbers every week.

Monday, October 20, 2014, 10:49am

Washington Post - [Full Article]

The Redskins Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris has yet to have a single 100-yard game but led the rushing attack with 18 carries for 54 yards (3.0 average) in the 19-17 victory over Tennessee.

Coach Jay Gruden made a concerted effort to call more running plays; they accounted for 26 of the 57 offensive plays in the game, gaining 3.8 yards per rush and accounting for 100 yards of the total offensive output of 351 yards.

“We had some good runs and some not-so-good runs today,” Gruden said afterward. “We have to improve our running game, obviously. It’s still not that up to par, in my opinion, for us to be successful. We want to get the ball out of our hands, for good reasons.”

Fantasy Impact:

Morris hurt an ankle and briefly came out of the game, but he didn’t miss a series. Morris has been anything but his usual, consistent self this season. He's had over 20 carries just twice this year, those coming in Weeks 2 and 3. His Week 7 total of 18 carries is his highest since Week 3 but he only managed three yards per carry. Owners may have one last gasp at Morris bouncing back - if the return of QB Robert Griffin III can open things up. That could happen Week 8, but it's a Monday night game at Dallas so the matchup isn't a great one again this week for Morris owners. The schedule does ease a bit and he has good playoff matchups in Weeks 15 and 16.